Psycho-Social Theory and Nursing Care

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Owing to significant research into the relationship between physical, mental and social conditions, an awareness and understanding of psycho-social aspects in health care is vital (Walker et al, 2007). Those aspects are particularly important in nursing care, where an individual should be considered as the entire person with a need for physical, psychological, social, emotional, intellectual and even spiritual wellbeing (Holland et al, 2008). This essay will address psycho-social theory of health beliefs and attitudes in relation to nursing care. The essay will begin by considering how health beliefs lead to health behaviours. It will then discuss how theoretical models contribute to nursing care and their usefulness and importance in applying the theory to nurse patients. As the largest force in health care, nursing profession is considered to be in a unique position to facilitate health promotion and disease prevention. Nurses spend considerably more time with patients in comparison to other healthcare professionals and as such, they assist patients in managing their own health. The fundamental requirement in providing this care is to ensure that individuals remain as independent as possible through encouragement and empowerment. There are number of factors to be considered in delivering this care effectively. In view of cultural, socio-economic and educational diversity amongst us, it is difficult to define “health” or indeed “illness”. As our perceptions differ, so do our interpretations and possible meanings of those words. The World Health Organisation (WHO), 1948, states that “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. Although positive, the def... ... middle of paper ... ...arlow. Shaw, C., Brittain, K., Tansey, R. & Williams K. (2008) How people decide to seek health care: A qualitative study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 45 (10), 1516-1524. Sully, P., & Dallas, J. (2005) Essential Communication Skills for Nursing. Edinburgh: Elsevier Mosby. Walker, J., Payne, S., Smith, P., Jarrett, N. (2007) Psychology for Nursing and the Caring Professions. 3rd. ed. Glasgow: McGraw Hill. World Health Organisation (1948) “WHO Definition of Health - Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948” at (accessed 02 December 2010).
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